THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date – 4-26-09
LESSON TITLE: “THE GOSPEL OF GOD: THE GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM”
Here we are together again on another first day of the week - our Lord’s Day! I am so glad you have decided to join us today for another time of service to our God. How blessed we are this morning to again come before the throne of God and participate in acts of worship which laud and magnify His great and holy name. My hope and prayer is that we will each do our part to make this time acceptable in His sight and according to His wondrous and precious will. So as we begin this morning, let’s start by talking to our Creator in prayer, will you bow with me!
You know, there really aren’t too many things today that we can really trust in or place our assurance in! Especially in a world which is so self absorbed and undependable. However, the great news is that we do have a place we can turn for complete assurance in this life and the one which is to come. So, how do we receive such a blessing from God? Let’s begin our songs of praise this morning, with a hymn that reminds us that we need to be right with God. The name of the song, “Is Thy Heart Right With God?”
(SONG # 1)
Many in the Old Testament often forgot who God truly was and just how powerful His was. In fact, we see that not only were those of the world guilty of forgetting God, but also those who claimed to be His servants!
Now bring these thoughts into the present day. Are not many of us often guilty of the same type of doubt in the Creator? When was the last time you prayed and asked God for help, but deep down you really didn’t feel He heard you or answered your prayer? When was the last time you had difficulty in life, and again instead of turning to God first, you turned to others or possibly even to the world. You see, at times we are all guilty of showing that we really don’t trust in God, or that we really don’t have complete confidence in His promises.
Well, with these things in mind, I want you to go to God’s Word with me for a few minutes. Because the faithful of God and Scriptures go far in proving to us that we can count on God and trust that He can do what He has promised. In the Old Testament we see this to be true. Notice how God saved Noah from the flood. What about Moses and God’s care for the Israelites. Or how about during the times of the conquest for Canaan - God truly gave His people the Promised Land. Yes, our God is powerful enough to do what He says and to back up His promises with reality.
In Jeremiah 32:27, God says, “Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me?” David also helps us with this idea when he said, “Be exalted, O LORD, in your own strength! We will sing and praise Your power,” Psalm 21:13. Here we are referring to our Creator, Redeemer and Giver of all - how can we even question the power of God.
The New Testament goes on to confirm that the same things are true. What about the words of Jesus in Matthew 19:26, there He said, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” All things are truly possible with God. Again in Romans 1:20, Paul refers to God’s, “eternal power and Godhead.” You see, God’s Word confirms that we serve a God who is real, and powerful enough to guide, guard and direct us. A God who is able to care for, provide for, and to protect those whom He loves! The question is, “do you truly know the God you serve?” “Do you really believe in the power of our Creator?”
In just a few minutes it will be time to begin our main study of the day. As far as our series, today we will be continuing to talk about, “The Gospel Of God.” The specific lesson of the day will deal with the, “Gospel Of The Kingdom!” So please stay with us and after our next song, I will be leading us in this study from God’s Word. Now let’s join together in that song. The name of this hymn, “Jesus Calls Us.”
(SONG # 2)
By Ray Sullins
Thanks for continuing today as we now go to the Word of God and consider more about the gospel of God specifically looking at again the things that the gospel means to us and how we can grow from it and be able to individually do those things that God would have us to do through it.
We saw last week something about the gospel that was special that we’ve mentioned before but we really got into detail looking at the fact that they preached Jesus when they preached the gospel. So today we want to add to that and we want to go into the New Testament and we want to find out that not only did they preach Jesus as it states they were preaching the gospel, but it also says that they preached the kingdom. So we need to understand what this kingdom is that they were preaching about. What is it that they were referring to when they said that they preached the kingdom?
I want you to back up with me first of all to the book of Matthew there in the great Sermon on the Mount that we mentioned, I believe, back in our very first sermon in relationship to our series here. There in Matthew chapter 4 just before the great Sermon on the Mount, it says, “Jesus came and He was preaching to those of Galilee.” I want you to notice with me in verse 23 what He was preaching or teaching about. He was in the synagogues and “preaching the gospel of the kingdom.” Now what exactly was He preaching? Well it says He is talking and preaching and teaching them about the kingdom of God. Well that should not be strange to us because when we read the gospels what we find is that there were others like John the Baptist and those who came preaching as well the kingdom. What did they specifically say about the kingdom? That is John and Jesus. They said, “The kingdom of God is at hand.”
Another verse I want you to notice with me is there in Matthew chapter 9 just a few chapters over, but there in verse 35. In this text we read this. He says there, “Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages teaching in their synagogues and preaching the gospel of the kingdom.” Once again, He was preaching the gospel of the kingdom.
Don’t you think Jesus also would have been preaching about who He was? Certainly! Wasn’t He telling them that He was the Son of God? Yes, He was. But a part of that gospel, a part of the Good News, what they needed to know about was not only who He was but what was coming, the opportunity to be a part of God’s very kingdom.
Again, in Matthew 24 and in verse 14, yet again we find in the words of Jesus this. “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations.” You see here, Jesus said, “The gospel of the kingdom is something that was going to be preached to all the world,” and we know that began to be fulfilled there in Matthew 28 when He told His disciples, what we generally call “apostles,” to “go into all the world and preach (what?) the gospel.” What were they preaching? Well, as we saw last week, they were preaching Jesus, who He was, what He was about to do, and even what at that time He had done for them in dying on the cross and shedding His blood, but also they were preaching about at this point the coming of the Kingdom and the fact that the Kingdom was a part of what God would establish in the near future. Again, the idea clearly said time and time again that “the kingdom of God is at hand.”
Look with me now in the book of Mark and chapter 1. In verse 14 now notice that it speaks about John the baptizer finally being put in prison, and it says, “Now Jesus went about Galilee still preaching the Kingdom of God.” In fact, it even has the word yet again, “the gospel of the Kingdom of God.” And here is what He said about it. “The time is full and fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is at hand. Therefore, repent and believe in the gospel.” You see, the kingdom is here! The Kingdom and the time of the Kingdom have come. It is at hand. It will take place soon.
How soon? Well there is a verse that helps us to understand how close in proximity to those days Jesus was speaking about the coming Kingdom at hand and when it would actually come. That verse that we find to me it is the clearest is there again in Mark but in chapter 9. If you’ll look there in Mark chapter 9, but now we want to look specifically at verse 1 of that text. It says, “ Jesus said, ‘Assuredly I say to you that there are some of you standing here who will not taste of death…’” Guess what. “…Until they see the Kingdom of God present with power.” The Kingdom of God. Until that Kingdom of God came with power and when did it come? Well we’re going to look at that further in just a moment, but it came when Jesus said it would. In fact, we can read near the end of most of the gospel accounts that as Jesus had died and rose and then He had even been seen by the apostles, that He told them to “Go into Jerusalem and wait until the Holy Spirit came with power.” And as we go to the book of Acts we actually find in Acts chapter 1 these same ideas that Jesus had told them guess what. “To go there and to wait in Jerusalem,” there that is found in chapter 1 and verse 8, but back up with me now to verse 3 about what He had been doing before that. It says there that, “He Himself was one now who was preaching the Kingdom, things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.”
Now look at verse 4. “And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart (notice) from Jerusalem but to wait for the promise of the Father which,” He said, “you have heard of Me.” Then He goes on to say, “The Holy Spirit,” or that “they would be given the Holy Spirit in full measure.” And when did that happen? In Acts chapter 2 on the Day of Pentecost. It says, “They were all gathered there in the house and as they were there,” verse 3 in chapter 2 of Acts, “there appeared on their heads cloven tongues of fire and they began to speak in tongues.” It goes on to say later that everyone heard in their own language as they were speaking in tongues.
But how were they doing it? Look again to verse 4. “And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and the Spirit gave them the utterance.
And so what were they to wait on the power to come, where in Jerusalem? And here it came and what was established? Well in Acts chapter 2 we go on to read the great gospel sermon of Peter and the others as they preached. And they told them, “You have just crucified the very Son of God on the cross who is the Christ, who is the Messiah of prophecy. And they were cut to the heart and they cried out, “Men and brethren what shall we do?” In verse 38 of chapter 2 he says, “Repent and be baptized.” Why? “That you might receive remission of sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Now what did they do? In the same text, we read there in verse 41 that that day 3,000 souls were baptized.” In other words, they did what they were told, to repent and to be baptized unto salvation. Then what was the outcome? Notice verse 47 of chapter 2 in Acts. “And they were praising God and having favor with the people and the Lord added to the church daily those that were being saved.” He added to the church which we well know would be that coming Kingdom that some of those would not die before it actually had come into existence on the earth.
Has God always had a Kingdom in Heaven? Sure He has! Certainly He has! We’re not in Heaven. When did He establish the Kingdom on the earth? In Acts chapter 2! It was one that was prophesied about as we will see later in our discussion in Daniel. It is one that came to fruition in Acts chapter 2 and it is one that they are after and is continually confirmed as being the Kingdom of God and one that then had come.
I think one of the best verses that helps us with that is found over in Paul’s letter to the Colossians. There in chapter 1 you might note with me that it states that there was something that we were taken out of, that is darkness in the world, and you and I know as Christians or becoming Christians that we leave the old man in darkness and the world and then we become followers of Christ. Now what is the picture presented here in verse 13 of Colossians 1? “And He (God) delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed or translated us into the Kingdom of the Son of His love.” How are we translated into a Kingdom if it does not exist? How are we added to the church if it does not exist? Why in the world would Jesus have died and shed His blood for the church (Acts 20 and verse 28) if there is no such thing in existence today and if they were not being added to it? Why would Paul have said it and why would the Holy Spirit have revealed it through Paul? Well you see the fact is that Jesus said, “The Kingdom is at hand.” Jesus said in Matthew 16, “I will build My church.” On what? On the things that Peter said that “Thou art the Christ.” He said, “Blessed are you,” verse 17, “because you did not know this, but the Father revealed it to you.” And then in verse 18 He says, “I will build My church upon that rock.”
Then I want you to notice with me in Matthew 16 and verse 19 what He goes on to say. After He says, “I will build My church and the gates of Hell will not prevail against it,” He says, “and Peter, I will give you the keys (guess what) to the Kingdom.”
He says, “The Kingdom is at hand. I’m going to build that church. I’m going to build that Kingdom. I’m going to establish it.” And as we saw there, “I’m going to take you out of darkness and I’m going to put you into (what) the kingdom of the dear Son of My love.” But you know what also is found in Colossians chapter 1 in verse 18? He goes on to describe the Kingdom of God, and guess what He calls it. There in verse 18 of Colossians 1 He says that, “Christ is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the first born from the dead that in all things He may have the preeminence.”
We are translated out of darkness and put into what? The Kingdom of His dear Son. We are added to the church which is the what? The body, there in Ephesians chapter 5 and verse 22 and following. It says, “Christ is head of the church which is the (what?) body,” that which they were added to, the Kingdom that was coming before some of them died.
Brethren and friends, we should be thankful to God that today we do have His Kingdom on the earth and it is evident as the church, the body, of which there is only one head and that is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the One that we should always follow and turn to in all things.
But now I want you to back up again to the book of Acts with me and now what we want to do is after Acts chapter 2 notice what the apostles were now preaching as the church has been established and as all things have been done according to the Will of God, notice what they go about doing in their preaching. For instance, notice with me if you will, Acts 5 and 42. “And daily in the temple and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.” What were they doing after the church was established? They were preaching Jesus.
Turn over to Acts chapter 8. In Acts chapter 8 and verse 5 we read this. “Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ to them.” What was he doing? Preaching Christ.
There in verse 12 it says this. “But when they believed Philip concerning the things that he preached about the Kingdom of God and Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized.” What was Philip preaching? Jesus Christ and the Kingdom. And what were people doing? They were being baptized just like on the day of Pentecost.
If you’ll drop down there in the same text, the Eunuch there in Acts 8:35 was told about the Jesus or the Christ from the book of Isaiah that he was reading (chapter 8 and verse 35 of Acts).
Again, we might note in Acts 9 and verse 20 that Paul, formerly Saul, says this immediately after becoming a Christian that “he preached Christ in the synagogues that Jesus was the Son of God.”
And now what else did Paul preach to those who heard the gospel? Acts 20 and 25 tells us, “And indeed now I know that among you all I have gone out and I have preached the Kingdom of God.” What was he preaching? The same thing Peter was. The same thing Philip was. The same thing they all were. Jesus and the Kingdom of God!
Now turn with me to Acts chapter 28 there near the end of Paul’s life most likely when he was in Rome under guard, and notice what he was doing even in Rome under house arrest. Verse 30 beginning, “Paul dwelt two whole years in his own rented house and received all who came to him.” What was he doing? Verse 31, “Preaching the Kingdom of God and teaching the things concerning the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Brethren, the point today is that if we preach the gospel of Christ, the gospel includes the Father and information pertaining to Him, the Son, Jesus as the Christ and Messiah, and the Kingdom of God for how can I know about God and the Son without knowing about the institution or the house that He has prepared for the saved on earth? Well you see, the fact is I can’t and it wouldn’t make sense that I would.
There’s another verse that really stands out in my mind as a strong proof of what we’re saying. In 1 Corinthians chapter 15 I want you to notice what it says in verse 24. In the end what will happen? It says, “Then comes the end, and He (Jesus) delivers the Kingdom of God to the Father when He puts it into all rule and all authority and all power.” You see, Jesus some day will deliver what? The Kingdom to who? The Father in Heaven. You know what that tells me? I want to be a part of the Kingdom of God. I want to respond to the preaching of the gospel that includes the Kingdom of God. And when I hear the preaching of Jesus and when I participate in the preaching of Jesus, I want to make sure that I preach Christ and His Kingdom and all those things that pertain to the Will of God that not only gets me into Christ, but keeps me faithful in His sight.
Will you do what God commands today and will you live the life that shows that you respect Christ and you want to be a part of His Kingdom and to live forever more with Him in Heaven?
(SONG # 3 - “It Is Well With My Soul!”)
May I again take this opportunity to thank you for joining us today? I hope our time together has been an encouragement and thus a blessing to us all. Please remember that you are invited back to join us every first day of the week, at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this time of Worship before God!
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How blessed we are to know that the Gospel includes the truth concerning the Kingdom of God. For it is the Kingdom of God which houses the saved, of which we no doubt want to be a part of!